A Brief History of the development of Wind Power

  • Jan 1, 600

    600AD - Windmills in Persia

    Although it is unknown when the first windmills originated, it was probably in Persia, now Iran, for the purpose of grinding grain.
  • Jan 1, 1100

    1100AD - Windmills in Europe

    The first horizontal axis windmills are used in Europe for grinding grain.
  • Jan 1, 1300

    The Dutch and the French

    The Dutch had began utilising wind power for pumping water and as mills and the French used windmills for irrigation purposes.
  • Windmills brought to Canada.

    Windmills brought to Canada by French settlers, mainly to grind grain.
  • Supplying Europe with 1500 megawatts

    By late 1700s windmills supply Europe with an estimated 1500 megawatts of power.
  • Windmills in America

    Windmills used in America to pump water for farms and ranches. Early farm windmills used blades made from simple wooden slats.
  • First electricity producing windmill built in Scotland

    The first windmill created for producing electricity was built in July 1887, by the Scottish Professor James Blyth in Glasgow, Scotland.
  • A new style of wind turbine

    Danish inventor Poul La Cour develops first wind turbines to incorporate modern aerodynamic design principles,which had a capacity of 25 kilowatts and were used throughout Denmark. However, with the development of large fossil fuel powered steam plants in Denamark, wind turbine operations were put out of business.
  • Turbines produce 30 megawatts in Holland

    1900s - the Dutch had 2500 turbines that are estimated to have produced, at their peak, 30 megawatts.
  • The first vertical-axis rotor invented

    The first vertical-axis rotor is invented by Frenchman George Darrieus.
  • Interest in wind energy decreases after WW2 as a result of cheaper fossil fuels

    As a result of the fall in fossil fuel prices after World War II, the power grids extended into rural areas - as a result interest in wind energy falls dramatically.
  • World first megawattt turbine built in Vermont USA

    he world’s first megawatt wind turbine was built. It was connected to the power grid in Castleton, Vermont USA.
  • Developments made in turbine technology

    Advanced horizontal axis turbine designs are developed in places such as Germany, consisting of fibreglass and plastic blades with variable pitch blades thus increasing efficiency.
  • The 1973 Oil crisis creats a new interest in large wind turbines

    The 1973 Oil crisis creates a new interest in large wind turbines and as a result government-sponsored renewable energy research programs start in countries such as Germany, Sweden, Canada, Great Britain and the United States.
  • Change in the turbine market

    The commercial wind turbine market focus changes from small machines (1-25 kilowatts in size) to the development of large wind turbines (50+ kilowatts in size).
  • The world's first offshore wind farm begins operating

    The world's first offshore wind farm begins operating off the coast of Denmark. Its is a five-megawatt plant.
  • The Wind Energy generating capacity increases by 37%

    In 2001 the wind energy generating capacity increases by 37 percent to approximately 24,800 megawatts. The global wind industry makes about $7 billion in business.
  • US wind generating capacity exceeds 4,600 megawatts

    United States’ wind generating capacity exceeds 4,600 megawatts.
  • Europe, US, Germany and Denmark lead the world

    United States and Europe lead the development and installation of wind power. Germany leads the world in terms of wind energy with more than 14,000 megawatts installed. And Denmark had the world’s highest proportion of electricity generated by wind with more then 20 percent.
  • Global Wind Energy more than 39,000 MW

    The global wind energy generation capacity is more than 39,000 megawatts.